Pulling out my inner child is like
removing a hot dish from the oven
without potholders for protection.
It’s gonna leave a mark.
The mountains of my home always smelled of wildflowers and dust,
cool winds carried sparrows that built mud nests
under the sheltered parts of our porch.
Their babies would fall out and I would pick up their naked corpses
dark eyes bulging big
beak, wings, feet...
could see it would have been a bird.
Summer camp they’d throw me in the swimming pool
even though I could not swim.
We had an orange striped cat named Tigger who lived in the barn
beside our house.
I once watched that cat carefully dismantle a mouse
eating all fur and skin first
then inhale the carcass
entrails popping out
leaving a minimum amount of blood
on the ground.
I used to get shoved down on the playground
until my mouth was full of dirt.
I spent most days of my ‘before-I-could-remember’ time
in that barn.
Even after the laughter of horses had vacated
and weeds had overgrown stalls,
when shit had turned back to earth
and all had fallen quiet...
I’d still run around the corral
as if I belonged there.
Belonged more there than in the house.
The bigger I grew
the smaller my mother made me feel
on husband number three.
I ran away four times that I can remember growing up.
I wished I could have grabbed the mane and swung up on the back of that
black Friesian stallion,
ran down the road to the highway and
into the unknown.
It was much better than the known.
For I was the mouse
and the house was consuming my skin,
feasting on my insides
while slowly devouring the last drops of girl
that I contained.
I was the baby bird,
dried and stuck to the concrete,
the forgotten future of humanity by a school that only held
bullies and detention after fist fights.
Explains why I so easily accept disappearance
as an adult,
as a woman,
as a mother.
Marissa Prada is a poet, author and spoken word artist, and publisher from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is polyamorous & a mother of two daughters. She loves books, authors, and advocates for poetry and the literary arts.
She began journaling in high school to cope with teenage stress and trauma. Poetry is the heart of her passion for the past 20 plus years and has seen her through surviving death twice in her life.
Marissa is the founder of Read or Green Books, a female-forward press that publishes many debut poetry collections. She authors, "Poetography505," on Facebook & co-authors, "The Word is Write," on Facebook & Instagram.
Marissa currently sits on the Board of Directors for The New Mexico State Poetry Society.
She has been included in We Don’t Break We Burn, poems of resilience, by MindWell Poetry Press, Milk and Honey, assembled by Samantha Swain, Touching Tongues, a Women’s Erotic Anthology, as well as multiple poetry magazines and journals. Her current collection of poetry, Conversations with Grief, is available for purchase through Read or Green Books.
New Mexico State Poetry Society